26 February 2014

Drive By Blogging: Random Toddler Things

At the end of last year, I knit up a handful of little random things for my toddler.

First is a big mouth monster:

The pattern is Rebecca Danger's Pocket-Sized Phone Friend, but I knit it out of bulky weight yarn held double on size 10 needles.  He's big enough to hold all sorts of odds and ends that my toddler picks up.

Second is a pair of slipper socks:
I improvised the pattern based on gauge and the size of her foot.  She, of course, promptly outgrew them.

Third, a hat with rabbit ears.

She got a Christmas book called, "Shall I Knit You a Hat?" about a little rabbit whose mother knits him a hat to keep his ears warm because a big snow is coming.  It has a pattern in the back that I heavily modified to create the above hat.

19 February 2014

Drive By Blogging: Baby gifts

In the past couple of months, several of my friends have had babies.  Naturally, I knit.

One friend decided not to find out if she was having a boy or a girl.  May I just mention at this moment how inconvenient this is for a knitter?  Ahem.  I'll stop there.  I'm sure I'll mention the subject again some other time.

Anyway, for this friend, I pulled out some "gender neutral baby barf" yarn from my stash and knit up a hat and booties.  Then I waited until the baby was born and added the relevant coloured buttons:



I ended up affixing the pink ones for her baby girl:


And for a couple of other friends who were both having girls, I knit up an apple hat:


and a pair of purple booties:

The bootie pattern is Natalie Larson's Bitty Booties, which I modify so as to not need a provisional cast on. The square hat is Carol Ullmann's Square Baby with pompoms instead of tassels.  The apple hat is Iryna Boehland's Lil' Apple Hat, modified to not be so tiny with Hinke's Just a Leaf.

12 February 2014

Drive by Blogging: Binary Stars

Once upon a time, while I was wandering around Ravelry, I came across the wonderful pattern that is Megan Wood's Vincent Cuff.  The Vincent Cuff is a wide beaded bracelet designed to remind one of Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night knit on lace weight yarn with size 0000 needles.  When I saw it, I immediately thought of two people - my Doctor Who loving friend Pammie and my Starry Night loving mother.  So I ordered some deep blue lace weight yarn and some itsy bitsy pointy needles and picked up beads at the craft store.  And then created a labor of love.

1.  For the first one, I didn't have access to a color printer as mine having died after some toddler who shall not be named fed it cheddar.  Printers don't eat cheddar.  It kills them.  Poor printer - death by cheddar.  I copied each row with colored pencils onto grid paper.

2. The beads then had to be strung one at a time in the right order.  (For the record, the best bead needle is GUM Eez-Thru Floss Threaders.  They're also good for threading other needles.)

3. Knitting on size 0000 needles.  Oy.  Size 0000 needles have a 1.25 mm diameter.  They are smaller than a toothpick.  The stitches are tiny.  Plus, I dropped a stitch a couple times and getting them on the needles again was a nightmare.  Pammy has sworn not to look for the one stitch on hers that was picked up wrong and appears to be purled instead of knit.  I noticed while casting off Mom's that one of her stitches was wrong and had to undo my cast off and drop down and fix it.

The end result, though, I am rather pleased with:




I called the first one "Starry" and the second one "Starry Starry" and if I ever make a third, it will be "Starry Starry Starry."  (Original, I know...)  I'm contemplating designing one that looks like the TARDIS as I have plenty of yarn left...

05 February 2014

Drive by Blgging: A Twisted Pair

Early in 2013, one of my friends posted a notice on Facebook announcing a Pay-it-Forward.  The way it works is that she had signed up to receive something from one of her friends and in return would knit five things for other people who signed up, if those five people would agree to make five things for the people who signed up for them and so on.  I signed up to receive something from my friend and posted a notice on my Facebook wall asking for people who wanted to receive something from me and in return make five gifts for others.  One of the people who signed up was my husband's best friend, which caught me a bit by surprise as I don't know him very well.  As soon as he signed up, I went to my default knitting gift for guys: a hat.  Husband did some recon and came back with "black."  Oh, yippee.  (Sarcasm.)  Black is boring, and I had to do something to make it more interesting or I would die with boredom before the hat was done.

Enter Ravelry, a knitter's best friend.  I ran a search through their pattern database for hats for men and found Irina Dmitrieva's Bend Hat.  The cables on the hat make it nice and stretchy (Husband's friend has a big head...) and make it interesting but not girly and not boring.  On Ravelry, I called it "Twisted" in description of the cables.


After he received it, there were many hints to my husband and I that the recipient's wife was coveting his hat, but given the choice, she wanted one in pink.

I can take a hint.  I didn't mind knitting the hat and I like this family, so I stash dove and came up with leftover pink yarn from the owl pillow I knit my niece.  I held the yarn double to get the right thickness and knit up a pink one:


And not having a better name for it, I've called it "Mrs. Twisted."

29 January 2014

Drive By Blogging: Summer mystery

In the summer of 2013, I participated in something on Ravelry called an "MKAL" - a "Mystery Knit A-Long."  The designer of the pattern creates a schedule and releases parts of the pattern one at a time.  When you join, you don't know what the finished product will end up being.  In this case, the pattern was "Ohh Summer" by Elena Nodel and I knew it was a cardigan and I measured my toddler so I'd know what size to knit.  I was told what weight of yarn to use, what size needles to use, and how much yarn I would need.  And that was about it.  At the end of the MKAL, I had this:


Here it is, modeled on my wiggly toddler:


This is modified from what is written in the pattern in that I used the same lace pattern from the sleeves on the body of the cardigan instead of the much bigger lace holes the designer wrote for the body.  I also knit the body a little longer than the pattern called for.

The only problem is that she doesn't really wear it... She doesn't have a need for a short sleeved cardigan, and I forget to pull it out of the drawer to add to her outfit as an accessory.  So I knit it again in a bigger size, this time severely modifying the pattern:



Let's see... for modifications, I lengthened the sleeves to full length with no garter stitch on the cuffs and knit the body in plain stockinette, removing the lace from the body entirely.  I also abandoned the picot bind offs.  I knit the body until I had no yarn left and cast off with only a couple yards remaining.  This one can be added over a short sleeve or long sleeve shirt when toddler just needs an extra layer but not something very heavy.

22 January 2014

Drive By Blogging: Beach Bag

Some several months ago, back when it was summer, I realized I needed a bag.  Not just any bag, but a bag to carry sand toys.  I have a toddler who likes playing in the sand and needed a way to schlep her buckets and shovels from point A to point B.  While at a charming LYS near my parents, I spotted some fantastic cotton.  


I snatched up three skeins of it and one of a solid blue that coordinated with it.  Then I wandered through the pattern database on Ravelry until I found a market bag pattern I liked.


The resulting bag is big enough for a couple buckets, shovels, and a beach towel, as well as the occasional bottle of bubbles.  Plus I love the detail of the knotted strap - one of the other Ravellers who made the bag added that and I thought it was darling.  The pattern is the Grrlfriend Market Bag by Laura Spradlin.

15 January 2014

Minti and the travelling monsters

In 2013, I participated in a group on Ravelry that does something called "Travelling Monsters."  Everyone who wants to participate knits a small monster or other critter designed by Rebecca Danger, the author of the Big Book of Knitted Monsters.  The group moderator sets up the shipping circle and then they're off!  Person A always ships to Person B, who always ships to Person C, and so on.  Monsters ship twice a month so each monster visits for two weeks.  While monsters visit, they go on adventures with your family and get their picture taken and everyone in the group shares the adventures of their current visiting monster on the message board.  My 2013 travelling monster was Minti.


Minti was knit using the pattern "Cecil the Computer Monster".  She is small enough to fit in a pocket:


And was much loved by my toddler, who at the time called the monsters "babies."  Over the course of the travelling monsters, she stopped calling them babies and began calling them monsters.


She loved it so much, that, while Minti was travelling, I knit up a "twin" for her named "Pepper."


Here are some of the monsters that came to visit us:



Minti, after returning home and meeting Pepper:



...which reminds me, I need to decide if I'm sending Minti around this year or knitting someone new.  I've been contemplating sending a Ninja...